How to organize a pantry with deep shelves

Having a pantry with deep shelves can be a blessing in terms of storage space, but it can also become a nightmare when it comes to organization. The key is to find effective ways to utilize the space and keep everything neat and accessible. Here are some guidelines on how to organize a pantry with deep shelves:

Use a Turntable and Wire Baskets

A turntable is a great tool for maximizing space and making items easily accessible. Place it in the corner or at the back of the shelf and use it to store spices, condiments, or other small items. Wire baskets can also be helpful for grouping similar items together and preventing them from getting lost in the back of the shelf.

Try Bins with Handles

Deep shelves can make it difficult to reach items at the back. By using bins with handles, you can easily pull them out and access the contents without having to dig through the entire shelf. These bins are particularly useful for storing snacks, baking supplies, or small packages that tend to get lost in the chaos.

Group Similar Items Together

To maximize space and make it easy to find what you need, group similar items together. For example, place all canned goods in one area, boxed items in another, and snacks in a separate section. This way, you can quickly see what you have and avoid buying duplicates. Consider using shelf dividers or organizers to keep each section tidy.

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Place Cans on Risers

Canned goods are pantry staples, but they can quickly become disorganized and difficult to see in a deep-shelved pantry. Utilize risers to create tiers and make it easier to see and access the cans. You can find adjustable can organizers or even use simple wire racks to create your own.

Install Drawers

Sliding Drawers

If you’re willing to invest a little more time and effort, installing sliding drawers in your pantry can be a game-changer. These drawers allow you to pull out the entire shelf, giving you easy access to items at the back. You can find pre-made sliding drawers or even build your own using materials like wire baskets attached to drawer sliders.

Pull-out drawers

Consider installing pull-out drawers in your deep shelves. These drawers allow for easy access to items at the back without the need to remove everything in front. It’s a convenient solution to make the most out of your pantry’s depth and prevents items from getting lost in the abyss.

Stagger Products

One of the biggest challenges with deep shelves is that items can get lost at the back. To avoid this, try staggering your products. Place some items towards the front of the shelf and others towards the back. This way, everything will be visible, and you won’t have to move things around to find what you need.

Same Type of Food should be Organize in Rows

When it comes to organizing your pantry, grouping similar items together can be a real game-changer. Instead of randomly placing items on the shelves, create rows of the same type of food. For example, have a row for canned goods, a row for cereal boxes, and a row for snacks. This will not only make it easier to find what you’re looking for but also create a visually pleasing pantry.

Unwrap Paper Products

If you have paper towels, napkins, or plastic wraps in your pantry, considers unwrapping them. These items often come in bulky packaging that can take up unnecessary space on your shelves. Take them out of their boxes and store them in labeled bins or baskets. This will help save space and allow you to see how much you have left at a glance.

Label Everything

Labels are your best friend when it comes to organizing any space, including your pantry. Invest in some adhesive labels or a label maker and label everything. This includes containers, jars, bins, and shelves. Not only will this make it easier for you to find what you need, but it will also help other family members or housemates maintain the organization.

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Add Deep Pull-Out Shelves

If you have deep shelves that make it difficult to access items at the back, consider installing deep pull-out shelves. These shelves work like drawers, allowing you to easily slide them out and access items in the back without having to rearrange everything. They are a bit of an investment but can significantly improve the functionality of your pantry.

Organize Tupperware in Descending Size Order

Tupperware can be a nightmare to keep organized, especially in a pantry with deep shelves. To avoid a mess, organize your Tupperware in descending size order. Stack containers from largest to smallest and nestle lids together. This way, you won’t have to dig through a pile of mismatched containers to find the right one.

Bring in a Stool

The first step in organizing a pantry with deep shelves is to make sure you can easily reach all the items. Bring in a stool or step ladder that allows you to access the top shelves without any difficulty. This will make it easier to take out or put back items without straining or stretching.

Use Top Shelves for Cookbooks

If your pantry has top shelves that are difficult to access, make use of them by storing your cookbooks. This way, your cookbooks are easily accessible when you need a recipe, and you free up valuable space on lower shelves for pantry essentials. Consider using a bookend or shelf organizer to keep your cookbooks neatly in place.

Stack Clear Bins

Investing in clear, stackable bins can make a world of difference in organizing your pantry. Use them to group similar items together and easily see what’s inside. Labeling the bins can also help to find items quickly. By stacking them, you can make use of the vertical space in your pantry, saving room for other items.

Utilize Door Space

Don’t forget about the space on the inside of your pantry door. Use an over-the-door organizer or attach small shelves or hooks to store items such as spices, small packets, or kitchen utensils. This will help free up space on your shelves and keep frequently used items within reach.

Regularly Declutter and Rotate Items

Finally, to maintain an organized pantry, it’s important to regularly declutter and rotate items. Check expiration dates and discard any outdated or unused items. This will ensure that you have a streamlined pantry with only the items you actually use and need.

Establish a Zoning System

Divide your pantry into different zones based on categories such as grains, canned goods, snacks, and baking supplies. This will make it easier to locate specific items and ensure that everything has its designated place. Use labels or color-coded bins to clearly identify each zone.

Use Clear, Deep Containers

Opt for clear, deep containers to store loose items such as pasta, rice, and cereal. These containers not only keep your pantry looking neat and organized but also allow you to see at a glance when supplies are running low.

Line Items in Height Order

Arrange items within each zone in height order, with taller items at the back and shorter items in the front. This simple technique ensures that everything is visible and easily accessible. It also prevents items from toppling over and keeps your pantry looking tidy.

Use a Lazy Susan

A Lazy Susan is a rotating tray that can be placed on deep shelves. It is an excellent tool for storing condiments, spices, or other small items that tend to get lost in the back. With a simple spin, you can easily access these items without any hassle.


Remember, organizing your deep-shelved pantry is a process that requires ongoing effort. Regularly decluttering and maintaining the organization system you establish will ensure that your pantry remains functional and efficient. So get started on organizing your pantry today and enjoy the ease and convenience of finding exactly what you need, when you need it.

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